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Old 01-29-2020, 10:53 PM
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Keeping the treat special?

When starting out with my new 7 month old conure almost exactly one year ago, I followed the common advice, gave her options, and found that my conure is crazy for safflower seeds. I can get her to do anything when she sees a seed or two.

Today I was in a hurry and needed to buy a pellet/seed mixture and bought one specific for conures. It was only later in the day when I put in her bowl that I realized that this daily meal has safflower seeds in it.

I read that you are supposed to keep the "treat" out of the daily meals. But it has been a year. Does anyone know if a treat no longer becomes special if they eat it every day? In my mind, I think she is mentally conditioned to react after a year. I would hate to waste this food.

FYI - this is the evening meal. Her morning meal is fresh veggies and some fruit and a small amount of carbs like pasta or rice. That is most of her diet.
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Old 01-29-2020, 11:08 PM
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Re: Keeping the treat special?

Generally speaking, it should reduce the value of that treat. The inverse is true: taking it away makes it more valuable.

But I’ll also pose that It would depend on the bird. I use various nuts for training, and there are nuts in my boys dry food mix. He will still do anything for them even though they can be part of his larger diet.

But some birds may lose the value. You’ll have to play with it to get an answer that’s true for you.
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Old 01-30-2020, 07:37 AM
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Re: Keeping the treat special?

Nah, my GCC is crazy for safflowers seeds. Those seeds are also in seed mix. Hasn't changed her drive for them. Lol they are still the magic seed!
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Old 01-30-2020, 10:59 AM
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Re: Keeping the treat special?

Thanks Laurasea, I needed to read that. I tell people that the sassflower seeds are like "crack" for her. She can be ornery, stand offish, looking a little blue, and the world changes when she sees her treat. I will monitor but not worry.
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Old 01-30-2020, 11:44 AM
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Re: Keeping the treat special?

Yes crack!!! Exactly!
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Old 01-30-2020, 05:36 PM
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Re: Keeping the treat special?

I've had the opposite experience than the others here. With Sunburst we use sunflower seeds as training treats, if we even added a little to her food bowl for a special treat we can see her motivation decline. So now we only use it for training.

I honestly don't know if she likes sunflower seeds or pine nuts more (in terms of taste) because pine nuts are only given once a day when I leave for work (she doesn't get them on weekends). She will always choose pine nuts over sunflower seeds but that may be because I've made them rarer and more special.

In the end, give it a go and see how your bird reacts to the added safflower to the mix, if you notice a decline of interest in the safflower as a reward you can always remove it to give it back that rarity.
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